The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has awarded Utica Community Schools a $10,000 grant as part of the second round of the agency’s 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms program. The application process reopened in January after an initial round of grantees were announced in December 2020, bringing the total number of grantees from across the state to 149.
10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms (10 Cents a Meal) is a state-funded program providing schools and early childhood education centers (ECEs) with matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
“It’s great to see strong Macomb County participation in the 10 Cents a Meal program,” said State Rep. Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights). “As a former teacher, and as a member of the House Committee on Education, I understand the important role our school food service programs play in the daily nutrition of our students. It is essential that we provide nutritious, fresh and local foods to our children and 10 Cents a Meal is a simple way to achieve just that. I hope more school districts take advantage of 10 Cents a Meal as the program continues to expand.”
First round Macomb County grantees include: Armada Area Schools ($2,000), Eastpointe Community Schools ($25,000), L'Anse Creuse Public Schools ($20,000), Macomb ISD ($4,000), Richmond Community Schools ($2,000), Trinity Lutheran School ($1,500), and Warren Consolidated Schools ($15,000).
Since Governor Whitmer signed the budget into law in October of last year, 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms has gone from a 2016 pilot program to finally being available to applicants state-wide. This action supported schools and ECE's for 2020-2021, and affirms the importance of 10 Cents a Meal in providing local fruits, vegetables, and dry beans for Michigan’s schoolchildren.
As a matching fund grant for school districts and ECEs to buy Michigan agricultural products, 10 Cents a Meal essentially doubles the state's investment because schools match the grant dollars with existing school lunch funds, including federal dollars, assuring more money goes to Michigan agriculture.
In addition to improving daily nutrition and eating habits of children through the school and ECE setting, the program is also an investment in Michigan’s agricultural economy and keeps our dollars circulating locally.
“I’m so excited to see that my former school district, Utica Community Schools, is participating in 10 Cents a Meal.” said Melanie Wong, a dietitian working with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities on the program. “Having the opportunity to try healthy, local produce at a young age gives students the opportunity to become familiar with a variety of tastes and textures. The funding from 10 Cents a Meal can also provide more flexibility in the food budget for food service directors to purchase new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and dry beans giving students the chance to try foods they may have never tasted before."
To learn more, please visit www.tencentsmichigan.org.
For the complete list of 2020-21 award grantees, visit https://www.tencentsmichigan.org/about
For the Michigan Department of Education press release on the first round of 10 Cents a Meal grantees, please click here.